I’ve been thinking about this for a few days and certainly read quite a few pieces as well. Nothing I’ve read about MCX seems like a positive improvement for the consumer shopping experience.
MCX is the Merchant Customer Exchange and it’s a consortium of some of the largest merchants like Sears, Walmart, Target, CVS and Old Navy to name a few. That in itself isn’t a bad thing, but their intention is to control the method of payment in the store with a new mobile payment system (and likely card) that links up through ACH (your checking account and debit card) to bring on a lower fee structure after paying the vig to Visa and MasterCard for so many years. I get that they want to pay less and earn more. That’s basic business … But the process by which we’ve paid for things has been in place long enough that it’s the standard. When there’s an opportunity for progress and improvement we should try to disrupt and evolve standards, but this change is actually a step backwards. MCX is forcing consumers to pay in a particular way with merchants with whom we as consumers have maintained particular financial relationships over the years. By removing credit and forcing debit and direct withdrawals we lose a pretty massive method for purchase. Not that we aren’t generally irresponsible – carrying far too many cards and open lines of credit – but these merchants aren’t trying to develop a corrective or instructional behavior. They simply no longer want to pay the swipe tax associated with accepting credit.
Beyond the base fee issue is another related to data and who gets access and potential control of the customer relationship. Typically in a transaction, the full detail view is only accessible by the merchant and the customer and MCX wants to dive more deeply into identifying us through very personal information like your social security and drivers license number. Given the continuous stream of merchants with data breaches, this is more than a bit unsettling. While it’s not even available to use yet MCX has already had data stolen from their web site … A pretty stellar start. While merchants and banks have had breaches, the payment networks have not (yet) though their view of us as individuals is more limited since they are “simply” the network in which the data travels with some added logic to combat fraud.
MCX has demanded that all members use their system and only their system to force the standard across the group. This means that initially you will have the pleasure of scanning QR codes, after first unlocking your phone, finding and opening the app and ensuring the funding mechanism in place is what you want. Sounds really fluid and frictionless doesn’t it? Compared to Apple Pay, Google Wallet and Square, we are looking at a considerably less elegant more closed system. It’s also the first payment system that actually removes existing options
Given the lack of options and the considerably the deeper personal data demand we might as well start going back to carrying cash … last I checked it works everywhere – unlike MCX which might as well be a new form of currency no one wants. There’s always Amazon …
I just watched this fantastic video from XOXO and took a trip with Justin Hall. Justin’s links site was an early revelation for me as it opened up the web and encouraged my journey online. His talk is quite personal as you might expect and well worth the time to watch, listen and learn.
While I found The Verge’s post interesting and agree with their suggestions the one thing I find missing most of all is sharing INTO G+.
Right now it’s impossible essentially from any 3rd party experience. It’s 100% absent on iOS and possible only from the system share intent on Android which is great, but there’s much more … content we consume all around the web can’t easily find it’s way onto G+ from apps and extensions in the same fluid manner as, well every other social property.
Andrew Bennett, the CEO of Havas has a great piece in Fast Company that I fully agree with based on my own direct experiences. His thesis is essentially that while we place such enormous attention on STEM education we might be losing sight of the value in a proper liberal arts degree.
At my college there was just a single degree to earn, a Bachelor of Arts. I could have chosen to major in Chemistry, Physics or Computer Science and still left with a BA. Instead I chose Comparative Literature and while that might seem limiting if you can only draw linear conclusions, the foundation my education provided is something I use all day, every day. My job involves continuous critical thinking, synthesis and analysis and clear communication whether written or through public speaking. It’s hard to say whether I would have had a similar exposure or rigueur had I focused on business or marketing or even engineering (at a different school) but I believe and would advise my kids to think broadly to ensure they are comfortable with the pretty steady change that life offers.
There’s always time to specialize and go deep in a particular area. I still feel like I’ve managed to be a bit of a generalist and consume an intense information diet to ensure my continued relevance and importantly interest in learning so I can continue to grow.
Thanks to the power of Google and friends who care, this is now resolved. Thanks to Varun, who found an amazingly helpful thread on XDA. “Simply” remove Android Login Service from you Google Account Security settings. I had 9 in there and clearing them all followed by a restart on my phone and we are back in business!
Last week I started to see my Google Account start to unwind itself and I don’t know what to do other than collect all my details and share so perhaps someone else looking around can benefit. I’d seriously like to get this resolved, but don’t know who to talk to … I’ve called and spoken to reps within Google from both the Nexus and Glass teams as I wasn’t certain initially where things were challenged, but that’s where I’ve experienced the pain.
This post is when I first noticed there was an issue. Initially it was only Google+ and Hangouts which refused to connect. G+ gave me an error that read “No Connection. Couldn’t Connect to the Server” Hangouts reported a different error “Possibly because there’s a problem with Google account permissions“
After poking around more I found that there were some sync errors on my account. Calendar, Google Play Movies & TV, Keep and People details were all having problems.
Since the problems began I’ve done a few hard resets on the Nexus 5 where I thought the initial trouble was, but discovered through some intensive trial and error that in fact it was my account. After seeing Google Now completely fail to load (impossible activate, no left swipe on the Nexus 5) I tried initiating the device with a second Google Account and everything works just fine. I’m still working this way today … but I made the (now critical?) mistake of changing my account password thinking that perhaps I’d been hacked in some way. This led to a serious of consistent issues across everything else … Now It’s impossible to initiate ANYTHING with my Google Account. I can’t sign into anything that’s not the web. No apps, no ID sign-in. My other devices (Nexus 7, Nexus 4) bounced on the password change and now I’m not able to re-connect with things I was using before … YouTube doesn’t recognize me, I can’t sign into my feed reader though an instance where I was previously authenticated works, but only on my Nexus 7. Google Play and Wallet seem to be OK for the time being meaning I can connect to prior apps and authorize payments … but I can’t sign into apps like games for the social interactions.
I’m basically locked in place right now. Someone likely needs to perform some account surgery to unlock this mess. I don’t know where else to turn because I don’t know who to even ask.
Generally speaking I really like the Google Hangouts application. It’s a great way to chat and even make calls between parties. The update for Kit Kat is even stronger with SMS integration making it a universal messaging app. One app to rule them all!
The one thing I was really hoping would arrive along with the update was a universal conduit for multiple SMS addresses. Running hangouts across devices works great and my perhaps optimistic hope was that SMS would also be relayed. Today I tested things using the leaked version of Hangouts and whole things might be slightly different with an updated OS I didn’t see any SMS connectivity across phones. I realize I’m an edge case here but having one base for messages across multiple phones would be a huge win. Apparently just not now.
so a week in and I’ve shared a pretty large number of links as daily reads. It’s not everything I’m reading daily, but the shares I’d typically just blast out via social. I’ve got a pretty solid system courtesy of Pocket and a WordPress plugin called WP Stacker. While I haven’t seen any comments or direct responses per se, I do see some traffic coming in to check out what I’m sharing … plenty more coming.
Multiple submissions from Joanna Oltman Smith. The first one is at 2nd Ave and 16th in Manhattan. The second is at 1st Ave and 44th. The last two are at every cop’s favorite bike lane: Hoyt and Schermerhorn. Both of these cars are repeat offenders. The bottom car, number 2242, is a multiple-timeoffender. Seriously dude, this is NOT YOUR PERSONAL PARKING SPACE!
Joanna is involved with StreetsPAC, a political organization dedicated to increasing the livability of NYC’s streets. Check them out.
To serve and protect. Stay safe!
via Tumblr http://atmasphere.tumblr.com/post/63110870548
Popped a SIM into a Galaxy Note and found this lovely message. There’s no way around the activation process on the desktop which makes little sense to me. I’m not a new or novice user and this is far from the first device I’ve even activated on AT&T. Having gone through the desktop process now I see they want to make it theoretically easier for a user to add their account credentials and tweak some basic home screen settings, but that’s really not hard in your hand. It would be nice to see a choice.
I can’t even use the Note until a code gets sent back to the handset.
Actually … with a few extra taps back you can apparently exit out and start with a Google Account, but that’s not exactly obvious.
Just had a blast smashing rocks with Campbell. We were looking for crystals in the Geode science kit we got her over the holidays. This was easy and educational and as we hammered away, we discussed what we found and the difference between a Geode (hollow) and a Nodule (full). Good times!
I’m hooked. I don’t run much during the week unless I’m traveling – at least typically – but I am hooked on the trail. I did a local race back in October at Muscoot Farm and soon after was introduced to a local group which meets up every sunday. It’s well organized, mellow and super fun. I’ve adapted my schedule to make sure I can run this when in town and so far I’ve made quite a few. Definitely a weekly highlight!
So it’s day one with the new Nexus 7 tablet and this thing is quite nice. It feels great in hand and is quite easy to type on as well as read on – something expect to do a ton. The size is really nice and surprisingly comfortable considering I’m used to a combination of the iPhone, iPad and Galaxy Nexus.
I haven’t put this thing to the test on any level. A first day is always about really getting started bug thanks to how android syncs that really takes much shorter than expected. A couple of things I know are missing like a rear side camera and cellular data. One thing that’s unexpectedly mossing though is the longer press shortcuts on the keyboard to quickly get numbers without shift. The keyboard is great otherwise and I’m happily tapping this out. Jelly Bean and the hardware are quite responsive and the 7 feels much snappier than my Nexus which is also now running Jelly Bean. In fact the 7 is amazingly fluid! If you have not experienced Android first hand you might not be familiar with how you can move through applications. With the Nexis 7 this is a certain snap to it that’s fun to see in action.
The Nexus 7 has a gorgeous screen and the few YouTube HD videos I’ve seen looked fantastic. I’m looking forward to some more and longer form content as well. The size is also something that is comfortable. One or two hands are comfortable as are portrait and landscape though I’ve been about 90% portrait so far.
I’m really just getting started here but expect things to improve over time as I get my basic daily flow down.
There’s been a lot of talk about Google’s forced integration of Search+Social and it certainly is a big deal. Personally, I have not found it to be invasive, nor have I found it to be tainting my results in a negative way. I like seeing that there are signals from my social connections around search as they offer pivot points or likely results in a more obvious way.
Outside of search the social methods including those around the core property are really pretty passively being applied. The +1 button is the lamest offender in this approach. Before Google Reader dropped Share in favor of +1, I used to be able to easy share my read items anywhere I wanted thanks to the feed of my shares being made available. These shares would post to Twitter automatically and drove a fairly decent amount of engagement for me over the years. Since moving to the +1, I have two options and they aren’t the same across mobile and desktop web experiences. On the desktop, I can share from Reader using the same keyboard shortcut (Shift+S) or choose to +1 something which prompts for a share onto G+ and via a circle of my choice. On mobile, where I do a fairly intense amount of consumption thanks to an extended commute I can only +1 something and this is where things really, well suck. The +1 via mobile serves solely as a limited bookmark and saves content links onto my Google+ profile on the +1 tab. This mobile +1 limitation applies to any item on Reader or on a publisher site. There simply is no real way to share into Google+ directly from a mobile experience. On Android, you can use intents to open the share prompt and drop things into Google+, but the limitations again are quickly revealed. Unlike many other services, the Google+ mobile application (on iphone or Android) is incapable of traversing the link to provide any sense of context to what’s being shared. This means your post is just a lame mess. I can’t imagine the goal here is to have us save things in lists via +1. When was the last time anyone visited this tab for a contact let alone themselves? It’s an island of content — the least social you can be. There is no feed available for these items and no way to share them through any additional channels which frankly ends up being pretty de-motivating.
Another red headed step child of the Google social experience is Latitude. This has also remained something of a disconnected island within the ecosystem and I question why we should choose to use it. Google recently added the notion of points and a leader-board to check-ins as well as a proactive prompt to remind us to use it (on Android), but it’s hard to see why you would. The leader-board is for your latitude friends only (a sadly small group of early adopters in my case) and there’s no sense of what the points are used for – at all. There are no badges, no connection to merchant locations for offers. The prompts are even a bit aggressive. It’s also interesting to see that while I can share a check-in quite easily into a Google+ circle, a location appended to a post on G+ does not link back through Latitude. One way?
Right now, Google+ allows neither the syndication of my activity stream (ala Path) nor the ability to aggregate activities from the broader web (or even the Google system) like Facebook. As much as I want to use Google+ and enjoy the general engagement there, I find there’s an incredible amount of friction to use it. Social should not be hard.
PS – sharing this post into G+ also takes a few steps … sigh.
Good overview of the latest paypal mobile wallet (and offline features) … they have a lot to overcome to become a viable in-store solution.
The most notable feature of PayPal’s mobile wallet is payment flexibility. Users of PayPal’s mobile wallet application will be able to choose how they want to pay for purchases even after the sale. That means a purchase can be transferred to a different credit card, a debit card, a PayPal account or even a store gift card, if necessary, directly through the PayPal app. The payment could also be split between multiple cards/payment sources.